This Day in 1975: David Bowie takes on Cher

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
This Day in 1975: David Bowie takes on Cher

41 years ago today, David Bowie made one of the most memorable TV appearances of his career, teaming with Cher to deliver a medley of seemingly-incongruous songs that is one of the true must-see moments of ‘70s variety-show history.

Although it’s generally referred to as “the ‘Young Americans’ medley,” those four words hardly do justice to the six-and-a-half minute musical amalgam that resulted from the combination of the title track of Bowie’s 1975 album and a dozen other instantly-recognizable pop hits when Bowie appeared on Cher, the post-Sonny and Cher Show series that resulted when the married pop duo opted to go their separate ways.

Here’s what Bowie and the former Mrs. Sonny Bono tackled during the course of the medley:

Young Americans Song Sung Blue One Da Doo Ron Ron Wedding Bell Blues Maybe Mabye Baby Day Tripper Blue Moon Only You (And You Alone) Temptation Ain’t No Sunshine Young Blood Young Americans (reprise)

As you can see, the selections are decidedly disparate and, if we’re to be completely honest, a look at the list finds it falling firmly in the column marked “all over the place.” Bowie’s own website did not disagree with this sentiment, but thus it is written:

“On paper it looks a little cheesy, but if you’ve not seen it we think you’ll agree that both singers’ performances are sincere and heartfelt. It shouldn’t have worked, what with Cher’s house band performing the backing and the choice of snippets performed, but it did.” 

If you’re skeptical, we understand. You’d better check it out for yourself.

See? was right. (They generally are.)